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table turning

Part of speech:

The alleged movements of tables attributed to an exertion of power of departed spirits, or to the development of latent, vital, or spiritual forces- generally understood, however, to be the result of mere physical causes; to lay on the table, in Parliamentary usage, and in the usage of corporate and other bodies, to receive any document or written communication, as a report, a motion, and suchlike, but to agree to postpone its consideration indefinitely; to serve tables, in Scrip., to administer the alms of the church, a duty assigned to the deacons; to turn the tables, to change the condition or fortunes of contending parties, a metaphor taken from the vicissitudes of fortune in staking on the gaming- tables.